August 29, 2014 (Greenville/SC, USA) - The 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships kicked off on Thursday in Greenville, South Carolina where Canada fared well with three of its athletes finishing within 18 seconds of medal contentions.
The time trial races on Friday marked the return to international competition of Olympian Lyne Bessette (Bromont, QC), reunited with former cross-country skier Robbi Weldon (Thunder Bay, ON), who finished fifth. The prolific tandem won multiple medals at UCI World Cup and World Championships in the past, and went on to win a gold medal for Canada in the road race at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Racing for the first time together in two years at the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships earlier this summer, the two women won the gold medals in the road race and the time trial.
In the men’s tandem, Canada had two tandems competing in today’s time trial. Unfortunately for the experienced tandem of Daniel Chalifour (Mont-Laurier, QC) and Alexandre Cloutier (St Antoine de Tilly, QC), they were victims of a crash and subsequently were unable to finish the race. Matthieu Croteau-Daigle (Thetford Mines, QC) and Pierre-Olivier Boily (Sherbrooke, QC) took the sixteenth position.
Competing in his very first World Championships, Ross Wilson (Sherwood Park, AB) finished in sixth position, completing the course with a time of 26:14.92. He was within 18 seconds of the bronze medal. Jaye Milley (Calgary, AB) finished in twelfth position.
In the men C3 class, Michael Sametz (Calgary, AB) rode to the fifth place in his debut appearance at UCI World Championships, finishing the race with a time of 23:49.49. Sametz was also within 18 seconds of winning a bronze medal.
Marie-Claude Molnar (St-Hubert, QC) and Nicole Clermont (Sherbrooke, QC) both finished fifth. Molnar was 1:10 off the winning time and 18 seconds off the bronze medal pace, while Clermont crossed the line with a deficit of 2:37 on the World Champion’s time.
On Thursday, the Canadian hand bike team relay squad comprised of Mark Beggs (Montreal, QC), Mark Ledo (Maple, ON) and Robert Labbé (Quebec, QC) finished in seventh place.
The event continues tomorrow with the time trial races for all tricycles and hand bike classes. All eyes will be turned on defending T1 Champion Shelley Gautier (Toronto, ON), and Marie-Eve Croteau (Quebec, QC) who will attempt to regain her World title won in 2011 in the T2 class.
At age 46, Gautier is the top ranked athlete of the world ranking in her class and won the World Cup title this year. Croteau is ranked in second place of the world ranking in her class, and finished the World Cup season ranked second place of the overall standing.
Time – Trial
1. Yurie Kanuma / Mai Tanaka (Japan) 34:46.0
2. Emma Foy / Laura Fairweather (New Zealand) 51.14
3. Lora Turnham / Corrine Hall (Great Britain) +1:25.18
5. Robbi Weldon / Lyne Bessette (Canada) 1:56.32
1. Sarah Storey (Great Britain) 23:41.9
2. Anna Harkowska (Poland) 49.2
3. Samantha Heinrich (Usa) 1:24.42
5. Nicole Clermont (Canada) 2:37.84
1. Megan Fisher (Usa) 26:00.5
2. Shawn Morelli (Usa) 19.9
3. Susan Powell (Australia) 52.81
5. Marie-Claude Molnar (Canada) 1:10.59
1. Ivano Pizzi / Lucca Pizzi (Italy) 31:27.0
2. Schure Ter / Vincent Timo Fransen (Netherlands) 13.79
3. Marcin Polak / Michal Ladosz (Poland) 22.54
16. Matthieu Corteau-Daigle / Pierre-Olivier Boily (Canada) 2:54.60
Dnf. Daniel Chalifour / Alexandre Cloutier (Canada)
1. Michael Teuber (Germany) 24:42.8
2. Giancarlo Masini (Italy 1:13.95
3. Zhangyu Li (China) 1:15.79
6. Ross Wilson (Canada) 1:32.14
12. Jaye Milley (Canada) 5:16.55
1. Eoghan Clifford (Ireland) 22:44.6
2. Sergey Ustinov (Russia) 34.88
3. Fabio Anobile (Italy) 47.09
5. Michael Sametz (Canada) 1:04.88